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Through the Rift: Rifts Source book 1 (updated, Revised & extended)
Listen to our Podcast Review episode HERE
The original version of this book was one of the first Rifts books I picked up after getting the original Rifts base book for Christmas one year back in the 90’s.
This book had everything I was hoping for to add to my gaming group and gave some great reading material. Now mind you you’ll be hearing these words repeated in these Rifts book reviews, mainly since the format that the books are written is both reference material and a multi book story adding layer upon layer of new materials.
One of the first teasers I got to see in the book was the add in marvel comics depicting two dynobots going at it beating each other up and wow did it look good!
The original cover depicted Hagan Lonovich (a partner of the new big bad A.R.C.H.I.E. Three) and robotic minions. The book was the first real glimpse of A.R.C.H.I.E. Three and how he was a big bad of Rifts and a savior at the same time, A.R.C.H.I.E. Three supplied and protected humanity against the likes of hes dreaded enemy the Splugorth of Atlantis!
I would say this book did a great job of being updated and cleaned up, so that a lot of redundant information that appears in other books but great for those new to the game and coming in from Savage Rifts! For the older Gamers who’ve been around a while and still play Rifts, it’s worth considering picking up this book. A lot of information has really been cleaned up and there’s new, worthwhile information to get in this book.
In the Rifts core rulebook a brief overview was given to the movers and shakers of the Rifts setting. One of the biggest players was the Coalition military group, and the sourcebook gives us a really good picture of the upper echelon of their leadership. We are introduced the Proseks, their generals and even more information is given in regards to soldier armaments, Coalition ideals and practices as well as ample discussion regarding various errata or player questions raised by the original release of the RPG. Where this sourcebook really shined for me was in the inclusion of A.R.C.H.I.E. Three, the maniacal computer system from our past that survived the apocalypse. A series of adventure hooks are given, and a decent little adventure unfolds as we learn about this unknown menace, mind you over 20+ years every group I’ve had play the adventure have all enjoyed it and everyone ended differently too boot!
The expanded info introduces a new faction I’ve loved since their introduction in Chaos earth, NEMA the North American Military Alliance, better yet they become a faction that for good or evil has even infiltrated the coalition), the Republicans! A secret branch of the old American Government and Military that’s still operating in secret around Archie’s Facilities. Keeping it interesting are the ties to NEMA for those who’ve picked up the Rifts Chaos Earth series and a several new Power Armors and equipment. Your player group could even be NEMA solders in cryo from the ‘golden age’ that even though A.R.C.H.I.E. Three thinks it’s too soon for you to wake up in this dangerous world ‘he’ll’ still equip you as best he can. Just thinking of the possibilities of what a Savage Rifts group can do with this little 160 page sourcebook are huge!
Palladium has always been kind of hit or miss with rules, playing sort of fast and loose and leaving it up to the GM to sort out any discrepancies which has always been a plus for me, and this book is no exception but frankly I can’t say enough, it was just plain fun to read, and that is saying something too. Ultimately, Siembieda does what he is known for and writes a fast-paced narrative that gets you entrenched in the setting quickly. In the revised edition, as a whole this will always be one of my favorite purchases from Palladium.
(Here’s that Dynabot picture from Sourcebook one)
The last section of the book is a monster manual of sorts. All of the information is updated and some, like the Simvan Monster Riders have been dropped as they appear in Rifts Lone Star and quick stats for the Xiticix are included here as they’re something else that was also dropped with the RUE book.
All in All this book is a Natural 20 and should be picked up!
I’m super excited to receive my Kickstarter backer kit! But why the face lift for RIfts from the Palladium system?
“Over 25 years after its original release, Rifts® continues to inspire players around the world with its gonzo, big-guns-and-super-magic world of adventure. Savage Worlds is a game system dedicated to infinite potential combined with ease of play.
Unifying the two means bringing the magic and mayhem of Rifts® to countless new players, as well as calling out to original fans with a new avenue to dive back into this famous world.”
Now we’ve loved the Savage Worlds game system since they picked up Dead Lands and we played the heck out of that!(Though it was before we did the little podcast thing.)
Now onto what we got:
-The Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide in PDF and Limited Edition hardcover
-Game Master’s Handbook in PDF and Limited Edition hardcover
-Savage Foes of North America in PDF and Limited Edition hardcover
-GM Screen and Garnet Town Gambit adventure in PDF and print
-Poster Map: North America + Castle Refuge in PDF and print
-Combat Map 1: Rift + Ley Line in PDF and print
-Combat Map 2: Portal + Nexus Point in PDF and print
-Savage Rifts Dice Set
-Savage Rifts Bennies
-Savage Rifts T shirt
-Savage Rifts Messenger Bag
…and all digital and physical stretch goal items.
And you thought Rifts Earth was a savage place to live before!!!
I’m super excited to see how Rifts plays out in the Savage Worlds system. Just to take a second and date myself, I was in High school as Rifts was rolling out in the 90’s and dove greedily into a worlds were dragons and power armored warriors clashed and rediscovered magic are being used and new forms of Techno-wizards appear (Mind you those Leather fighter pilot goggle wearing magic item makers were one of the early Steampunk character types I’d ever seen in a game not D&D at the time and I always loved playing them!!!). Rifts was a huge game world that has grown more and more over the decades with multiple book shelves of mine filled with world books that just add so much more to the setting and Character options.
I know there are a lot of voices that see the game mechanic as a negative when reviewing the system as a hole and the MDC system as being past its time. Others I know love the system. Personally I know it does slow the game momentum down and causes TPK’s or issues balancing groups but a good GM will talk with his players on what should and shouldn’t be used in the game (Nothing worse than being a glitter boy pilot stuck without your suit in a city storyline).
But back on point here, The Rifts IP from Palladium books is getting a refreshing face list, same old world but with some new faces, Character creation and System mechanics. Next Saturday I’ll be At Isle of Games getting my first taste of the game with the Savage Worlds system and I really looking forward to it!!!
Along with getting a sneak peak of the books that will be coming out I already backed the new Kickstarter for the book, which by the way hit their goal in the first TWO MINUTES of launching!
I of course jumped in after the first day so a TON of limited edition things had been scooped up already but I’m pledged on the “Everything GM level” so you’ll definitely be seeing some reviews and showcasing of the products here, on the podcast and on our YouTube channel At this point they’ve unlocked over 24 Stretch goals and the number keep raising!
I hope if you get a chance you can check out the Kickstarter and show it a little love.